Andrew Love, now 27, was a freelance Graphic Designer and Illustrator for about 4 years before joining JMC to study Animation.
“Difficulties with finding clients or studio work had left me feeling quite disillusioned with design and so I decided to try and expand my skill set in hopes of becoming a more versatile designer. During my first degree, I had the chance to go on exchange to the United States and one of the classes that I loved during my time there was a traditional 2D animation course so I felt like 3D animation might help me.
My concerns about mature-age study
Initially I was worried about the time commitment of returning to study, I was 25 at the time I made the decision to become a student again and will be 28 by the time I graduate and was honestly a little embarrassed about moving towards a new career so shortly after graduating from my first degree. As a result, I initially enrolled in the two trimester diploma course, looking for a short career realignment, rather than committing to a full on career change. Within the first trimester, however, I was wholly invested in making animation my new career, finding myself enjoying the work in a way I can't recall ever having done as a designer.
As far as dealing with financial commitments, I've been very fortunate I think to be working for a charity that are very flexible with when I'm able to come in and are supportive of my studies. I'm also really lucky to have close family who are very supportive and willing to look out for me during this time. Unfortunately, the time commitment means I can only rarely take on freelance work and this has necessitated my moving onto the Newstart program as a technicality prevents me from receiving Austudy benefits.
Would I advise studying as a mature-age student?
I think if someone is looking at becoming a mature aged student, I would advise them to seriously consider it. Because I wasn't making headway as a designer, I opted to dive into study full time, but not everyone wants to or is capable of doing that. Other mature aged students I know are studying part time which allows them to balance their lives and keep supporting themselves via work. I think back just a few years to myself as someone who was unhappy with where they were in life, questioning how my life was going to play out if I didn't make a change, taking that step and coming back to study has left me, as cheesy as it sounds, with a renewed sense of purpose given me a strong direction to move forward with my career.
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